It’s been a busy few weeks and months for Xbox One, as it approaches its first birthday. The console started shipping a little while back in a new, Kinect-less (dis-Kinected?) package (even if some thought that was a bad move), and there have been a few software updates to as well as numerous announcements from Microsoft and from app partners.
The October update which rolled out in the middle of the month was quite a big change to how some of the fundamentals of the console work – like Snap, which got a whole lot more useful by being easier to manipulate.
Try saying, “Xbox Snap” (don’t try this on a Kinect-free setup or you’ll feel a bit silly) then say the name of the application you’d like to snap to the side (eg Music). You can say Xbox Switch to flick between the snapped application and the main app (the game, TV, video etc) and Xbox Unsnap when you’re all done and want to go back to full screen on the main app.
For more details on the October release, see Major Nelson’s post, here.
You can check you have the October update easily, as it adds a new “Friends” section to the home screen.
There’s also been the announcement of the release of the Xbox One Digital TV Tuner, due in select European countries any day now. The Tuner allows the Xbox to receive DVB-T signals (SD and HD, where available), integrates with the OneGuide functionality and delivers DVR-type functionality allowing you to pause live TV, watch TV on demand etc. There are also a bunch of updates to the SmartGlass software for mobile devices which will allow you to stream live TV off the Xbox tuner and watch on the device, even if the Xbox is being used for watching video on demand or playing games. See more here.
There’s even been some talk over what will and won’t be in the Xbox One’s December update, too.
3rd party apps have been coming thick and fast for the Xbox One, depending on where you live – there’s Vine as well as a bunch of Major League sports apps and VH1, all recently released in the US, MyVideo & Watchever (in Germany), Ludo (France) and many others. To see the apps list in your region (other than looking on the console), check here.